Arabs states criticise IAEA

30 September 2003
A group of Arab states on 30 September criticised the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) for not censoring Israel over its alleged weapons of mass destruction (WMD) programme. Egypt, Syria and Saudi Arabia said that it was unjust that the IAEA was putting pressure on Iran over its nuclear programme, whereas Israel has not signed the nuclear non-proliferation treaty (NPT), and therefore avoids inspections (MEED 26:9:03).

Speaking at the UN General Assembly, Saudi Foreign Affairs Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal said: 'What surprises us is that at a time when the IAEA is intensifying its efforts and monitoring [NPT] member countries... we see that it continues to ignore the rejection of Israel in not joining the treaty - This constitutes a serious threat to the security and stability of the whole region.'

Prince Saud's comments were reaffirmed by Egyptian Foreign Affairs Minister Ahmed Maher. 'It is unacceptable that Israel's possession of such weapons should remain a reality that some prefer to ignore or prevent the international community... from facing it squarely and frankly.'

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